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Comment: Re:Ok, I am naive, but... (Score 1) 320

by joss (#48371737) Attached to: Duke: No Mercy For CS 201 Cheaters Who Don't Turn Selves In By Wednesday

Sure, I know. Few things are truly novel and one has to be able to do all of it, including the grunt work. It's just that there's no point doing something original when its faster to copy, so one copies up to the point where either nobody has done it before or its just easier to reinvent it oneself than find and incorporate somebody else's solution I just took that attitude a little earlier than I was supposed to. I wasn't trying to be clever, I just wasn't ready to start working hard at the time.

Comment: Re:type of assignment (Score 1) 320

by joss (#48371631) Attached to: Duke: No Mercy For CS 201 Cheaters Who Don't Turn Selves In By Wednesday

Do you mean, the repeated code, or the cool professor is as likely as winning the lottery ? Either way, its more common than that.

Same thing happened to me in college, except I didnt even discuss the assignment with him. It was a lisp project and we both decided to do it as purely as possible (which at the time meant no assignments - what today would be called functional style). The end result was about 150 lines of lisp (equivalent to maybe 2k lines of C). Our code was identical except for some identifier names.

Comment: Re:Prison population (Score 5, Interesting) 407

by joss (#48168953) Attached to: As Prison Population Sinks, Jails Are a Steal

Leaded petrol has a high correlation with crime rate too.

The nice thing about the abortion correlation theory is that it pissed off both the left and the right.

Saying that we should reduce the number of children born by unmarried mothers and this will bring the crime rates down is something that excites the right and pisses off politically correct lefties.

Saying that a good way of doing that is legalising abortion excites the left and pisses off the right

Comment: Re:At Odds (Score 2) 447

by joss (#48129767) Attached to: Statisticians Uncover What Makes For a Stable Marriage

> "Couples who elope are 12.5x more likely to end up divorced than couples who get married at a wedding with 200+ people.

Doesn't seem at odds to me.

People who act impulsively for their own immediate gratification are more likely to get divorced than those who plan stuff intricately and have the combined social pressure of all their friends and relatives acting on them. Well, knock me down with a feather.

Comment: Re:Government gun regulation is useless (Score 2) 651

by joss (#48038955) Attached to: The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

Selective use of data can convince you of anything if you desperately want to be convinced of that (which is why climate change is still a debate)

So, for example
UK firearm deaths (per 100,000 of population): 0.25
US: 10.30

ie, you're 40 times more likely to get killed by a gun in the US than in UK, but sure.. believe what you like.

Comment: Re:Partial consistency is... inconsistency! (Score 1) 198

by joss (#47869859) Attached to: UK's National Health Service Moves To NoSQL Running On an Open-Source Stack

Consistency is easy when there is a single non-distributed database. That's not always possible and even if when it is possible its not always desirable because it is an inherent bottleneck. I agree many many companies pretend that they're facebook and end up with NoSQL for stupid reasons (hey, if my website ends up with a 100,000,000 active users then a single db won't cut it...) but there are situations where availability is more important than consistency. Funnily enough, one of them is banking.

Comment: Re: Are you fucking serious? Tell me you aren't! (Score 1) 198

by joss (#47869813) Attached to: UK's National Health Service Moves To NoSQL Running On an Open-Source Stack

> How could these not be important for banking is beyond me.

It's not that they're not important, its just that they are not the *most* important thing. Banks care about making money for themselves more than they care about anything else:

Comment: Re:Might not be as profitable as they think (Score 1) 322

by joss (#47624747) Attached to: With Chinese Investment, Nicaraguan Passage Could Dwarf Panama Canal

> That is the nature of competition.

In a situation with dozen's or hundreds of competitors it is, but without government enforcement cartels develop naturally and quickly (unless one company thinks it can bankrupt the others and become a monopoly). It's far more likely Nicaragua and Panama will come to an agreement.

Comment: misleading (Score 3, Informative) 85

by joss (#47008639) Attached to: Autodesk Unveils 3d Printer As It Aims To Become Industry's Android

> uses a laser to harden liquid plastic

ie the tech that i was writing software for 20 years ago..

> you can load in any material you want.

well, sure, it just won't make anything. I mean you *could* load the machine with fucking coca cola if you wanted, but its not going to give you a part.

To actually make something you need a photosensitive resin with very precise material properties. Back in the day that stuff cost $300/litre .. i'm sure its come down a bit, but the i'll bet ya good stuff still aint cheap

In the sciences, we are now uniquely priviledged to sit side by side with the giants on whose shoulders we stand. -- Gerald Holton